Introduction

When I started compiling my personal anthology, at first I thought it would be more of a Desert Island short stories, the ones that have stayed with me for years, the stories I use over and over again in workshops and which leave me reeling each time I read them (my requirement for a great short story). But then I stepped back and noticed a theme running through: Family. Not just the one we are born into, but the families we choose, be that in romantic relationships or friendships. This is something that crops up in my own work again and again – my first collection turned out (unplanned) to be about different ways to approach parenthood, or non-parenthood, and all my stories (as perhaps all stories of any length are) address the difficulties of relating to other people. These are 12 of my all-time favourites, varying in length from a few hundred words to a few thousand, and moving from the UK to America, New Zealand, Ireland and Israel. I would be very happy with them on a desert island – and they are all available to read online too. I hope you are left reeling from some of them too.

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